Nick Herbert calls Parliamentary debate on the future of Sussex hospitals

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has secured a debate in the House of Commons this week to discuss the future of hospitals in Sussex.


The one-and-a-half hour debate will take place in Westminster Hall at 2.30 pm on Wednesday 4 July.

Nick Herbert will open the debate and contributions are expected from other local MPs.  A Health Minister will then be required to reply.

West Sussex MPs have expressed outrage at the proposals by the Primary Care Trust to downgrade two out of the county's three acute hospitals.

The Trust has said that there should only be one Major General Hospital in West Sussex with full A&E and maternity services.

All of the acute hospitals - St Richard's in Chichester, Worthing & Southlands and the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath - are used by Nick Herbert's constituents.

Ahead of the debate, Nick Herbert said: "I will be pointing out that the financial case for downgrading the hospitals has evaporated.  West Sussex Primary Care Trust's own figures are forecasting a combined annual surplus of over £50 million in the West Sussex and Brighton NHS Trusts in five years' time.

"The Trust is now falling back on the claim that there is a clinical case for the changes, but if this is true, why is East Sussex - a smaller county - being permitted two acute hospitals?  There is no prevailing clinical view on this issue.

"Last week, Gordon Brown said that he would listen and learn from the British people, and that the NHS would be his priority.

"We will be holding the new Prime Minister and his Health Ministers to that promise.  If it really means something, they will listen to the overwhelming view of local people and call an immediate halt to the hospital closures programme."



Notes for Editors

1. The Adjournment Debate on the Reconfiguration of Hospital Services in Sussex will take place in Westminster Hall at 2.30pm on Wednesday 4 July and is open to both the press and the public.

2. The public consultation on the future of health services in West Sussex was launched on 26 June and will run until 30 October. Meetings have been scheduled to take place across the county, providing the public with a chance to comment on the PCT's plans.

3. Public consultation on the future of hospitals in East Sussex was launched on 26 March and runs until 27 July.

Alexander Black